Friday, May 8, 2009
Handling bills during a layoff or money crunch
You or your spouse are laid off and suddenly you wonder how you will pay your bills, or there is a health crisis in the family, Marilyn Kennedy Melia • Bankrate.com
Highlights some suggestions:
*Credit experts warn: Have a plan before you plea.
*Contact lenders early, but there are no guarantees of help.
*It's up to you to make sure your priority bills are paid first
Let's take each of the suggestions, "Have a plan before you plea"
yes you can approach all your lenders and plead hardship however be prepared for the consequences such as them lowering your credit lines. You can approach the credit card companies yourself or seek help from credit counseling services, but don't just ignore the problem. Did you take out insurance such as insurance when you become unemployed? Some creditcard companies offered it. Most mortgage companies and credit card issuers have disability insurance but few offer insurance for the laid off worker. This all goes to her advice "Contact lenders early, but there are no guarantees of help".
If you have a savings account (6 months savings) to tide you over till you get another job use it first not your 401K, now lets discuss,
"It's up to you to make certain your priority bills are paid first"
lets describe what a "priority bill" is...
*First and foremost your Mortgage, that should be priority one make that payment after you contacted your mortgage company and find out if and how they will work with you.
* Utilities, Electricity, gas, Water, but what about those cable bills and cell phone bills? (we'll get to that later)
*Food, you have to eat, spend less with our tips on using coupons, etc.Don't eat out especially at fast food places because that costs more.
*Transportation, save gas, drive only when necessary.Keep up with all insurances.
Those are the major bills that should be paid first, now you're asking but what about credit card bills, try to pay the minimum if at all possible, and again try to negotiate on your behalf or get a counselor to do it for you.
With these strategies you can survive a job loss or money crunch.